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In 1996, our family went on our first medical mission trip to Piedras Negras, Mexico. In the area where we set up our free medical clinic there was no running water, no electricity, and most people lived in cardboard houses. This was our first time to see people living in these kinds of conditions, and it broke our hearts.
Over the next few years we would return several times to Mexico, and with each trip the Lord began to speak to our family more and more. During this time the Lord used one section of Scripture to speak to us about His heart for the poor and broken hearted. For us, Isaiah 61, not only showed us God’s heart, but became a call on our lives. One evening while we were eating supper, we talked about starting a ministry and even came up with the name "Integrity Worldwide". It would be five years before we saw this dream become a reality.
When Alan and Averee heard about a medical mission trip to Africa they jumped at the opportunity. On their first trip they went to Meto, Kenya, a small village inhabited by the Maasai. The medical team treated thousands and thousands of patients with no end in sight. On the return trip they knew this was the beginning of the fulfillment of the dreams that had been planted in their hearts years earlier. We knew we had to do more, and in November 2006 Integrity Worldwide officially became a 501(c)(3), non-profit ministry.
On their second trip, a medical mission trip to Bundibugyo, Uganda, Alan and Averee again saw the overwhelming poverty. They also realized that there were many people around them with like vision and passion. Many of these people now serve as Directors or work directly with Integrity Worldwide pursuing the vision that God placed in their hearts 10 years ago.
Alan and Averee Hicks with Ugandan friends